ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — St. Pete Police are beefing up security to keep you safe downtown throughout the holiday season, including adding concrete barricades at the intersection of 4th Avenue NE and Beach Drive.
St. Pete Police say the barricades provide an extra layer of precaution, keeping someone from driving down busy 4th Avenue NE into a crowd of people at North Straub Park.
The barricades went up in time for Friday’s tree lighting ceremony along the waterfront.
Steve Westphal, owner of 400 Beach Restaurant says he spotted them right away.
“I couldn’t help but notice the barricades of course. I don’t like the looks of them, but there could probably never be enough security in these days and times we live in,” he explained.
The barricades are being used for the holiday festivities for the very first time. St. Pete Police also used them during the St. Pete Pride Parade, and plan to use them for all large events.
Yolanda Fernandez, St. Pete Police Department’s spokesperson explained, “we learn from what’s happening in other places and we adjust our strategy for safety. Don’t be surprised if you see them. It’s just out there for an extra layer of safety for folks.”
St. Pete Police say crimes happening across the world forced them to take this extra precaution to keep families like Bobby Reynold’s safe.
“In the past you really didn’t think about it, but today the way the world is, you have to think about it,” Reynolds said while pedaling he and his daughter on a bike across Straub Park.
The barricades allow you to focus on what’s really important: Enjoying the holiday cheer with your loved ones.
“You’re having a good time. You’re enjoying the kids. You’re enjoying the moment. You don’t think about safety until something happens. That’s why it’s great we have leaders who think about those things so we don’t have to,” Reynolds added.
The barricades will stay in place for at least the next several weeks, as several holiday events are planned in North Straub Park.